Naturalists ruin everything - what have you ruined for your friends?

haha , lol , you must be living in some fictional place :-)

Welcome to the forum @gardeneticist

pretty sure rodents also do this


A couple of days ago, I saw a slowworm (Anguis fragilis) basking in the sun on a forest road. Took my camera, shot some photos, and when it moved away, I followed. So suddenly the slowworm decided to go full cobra, and threatened to bite me. What a cheeky beast!, I thought.
Later, when examining the photos, I saw that it was actually a Smooth Snake (Coronella austriaca).


Hey, I’m just like you! I have friends but not a single of them is a bit interested in nature, (other than like one, lol).

1 Like I lived in Europe for a number of years and Blackbirds used to wake me up, singing at 3am. But they are a type of thrush (Turdus merula), kind of like our American Robin. I think that is also the bird in the nursery rhyme Sing a Song of Sixpence, with its 4 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie.


Many years ago, my ex-boyfriend the ornithologist came to church with me. It might even have been my father’s funeral. He took one look at the hymnal, and tried to suppress inappropriately-timed laughter when he told me it had a vulture on the cover.


Thripidae are not beetles (does this count?)

You are most probably right
This further bolsters my original comment though. Many creatures inhabit our skies, not just birds

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It depends on their individual responses, but I wonder how my non-naturalists would react when I point out to them all the critters they missed right in front of their eyes.

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Tell the neat freak in your life that the bacterial cells in our bodies outnumber our own cells. Then, for good measure, tell them about Demodex folliculorum.

We are never really alone.


Not friends, but strangers. At my favourite beautiful remote beach where there are usually a few campers enjoying the place, I just casually drop the word “shark” into the conversation and watch the look of horror “Are there sharks here?”. “Well, yes. Nearly always a bronzie or two (aka Bronze whaler), often a mako and sometimes a great white”. I do it to create some awareness so they can make informed decisions about getting into the water. The reality is that fishermen frequently lose fish to the sharks and even supposedly “harmless” bronzies might not be so benign when they are stealing catch like that. Divers often leave the water quickly when they get a surprise visit. One group of teenagers swimming in the surf was freaked out when they saw a shark come by in thigh deep water.


Letting folks know that Oxalis, especially with heart-shaped leaves, like Oxalis pes-caprae or Oxalis corniculata aren’t clovers.


Oh, neat, if I ever get a microscope I can get an easy lifer just on my skin! And maybe also a Demodex brevis :laughing:

I wonder now how many other species live in/on us like that. A quick web search says ca. 1000 species of gut bacteria (compared to just 200 different types of human cells making up our entire body). But I suppose the complete number is even higher when including other organs besides the gut, and other species that are not bacteria, like archaea and fungi etc. Anyone knows of an estimate for those?

All of the nurseries and florists here in the USA are in on that myth, especially around March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day.

Me: “How much is the potted Oxalis over there?”
Florist: “You mean the shamrock?”
Me: “No, shamrocks are white clover. I mean the Oxalis – you know, the fancy wood sorrel?”

And my mom wonders why I had so much trouble making friends as a kid… :laughing:


In Germany, too - we call it Glücksklee and it pops up in stores all over the country around New Year’s Eve. Technically speaking, it should be Sauerklee (Oxalis tetraphylla). I dared to mention to the family over the holidays that technically it isn’t clover and boy did that kick off some push-back from the non-biologists at the table…